Bored StiffWhat do you think of when you think of Baroque music? Do you think of boring music, harpsichords, or powdered wigs? These are often associated with Baroque music, but the Baroque era has so much more to offer and is quite interesting to learn about.

Of the four main musical eras which are often classified as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Impressionistic or 20th Century, Baroque is the first and is listed as being from approximately 1600-1750 AD. Although music definitely existed before 1600, less information is known about the early music of the ancient past. However, the study of music from antiquity is also a fascinating journey.

The name “Baroque” was derived from architecture. Shortly after the Middle Ages, a new style arose in architecture. In comparison to previous architecture, it was more elaborate and fancy, but critics called it “Baroque.” The name Baroque seems to be related to a Portuguese word meaning a type of jewel. The name was demeaning and came to be used to describe all art including music during the Baroque era. Baroque music was quite elaborate (although maybe sounding dull to modern ears) and allowed performers much freedom to add ornamentations.

Although Baroque music is typically thought of as boring, not all music from that time was boring. Here is a famous piece written during that time which many people find to be delightful and not boring.

Here is a question to ponder: What was the name of the political leader who was unable to identify his own country’s national anthem due to an extreme case of tone deafness, and because of this hindrance, was notified of its performances by his secretary so the leader would stand for the anthem?

The answer will be revealed in the next blog post.